The DMV Daily had the pleasure of speaking with Independent R&B / Hip-Hop artist Shirley “Sherri” Curtis. Sherri is a born and raised Washingtonian from a small neighborhood in Northwest called Brookland. Her talent was discovered in a first-grade talent show singing “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight and the Pips. Her mother, Brenda Anderson, passed away from breast cancer before she reached age two and from that point on, she was raised by her single father, Robert Curtis. Inspired by her father’s phenomenal singing voice and “Oldies but Goodies” music, Sherri began to participate in dance and talent competitions and by her first year of high school she began writing and recording her own music. Check out our exclusive Q&A down below.
Q: Tell us about your recent music release:
Sherri: My new LP Resilience is available for streaming on all major platforms starting 12/27 which is a very significant day for me because it is the day that my father died 8 years ago. It encompasses a lot of music written out of love and pain and it includes a lot of different genres but is mostly R&B / Soul.
Q: Who inspired you to make music?
Sherri: My father and his phenomenal singing voice and love for oldies but goodies inspired me to make music. Furthermore, the pain of my life experiences was also a huge inspiration for what I do because it is one of the few things that helps me cope.
Q: How would you describe the music that you typically create?
Sherri: I would simply describe the music that I create as REAL. I feel like real music, meaningful lyrics, and relatable messages, are just missing in a lot of what is popular today and I’m looking to bring that back.
Q: What is your creative process like?
Sherri: My creative process usually starts with experience. Most of what I write about reflects how I really feel in the moment so everything you hear is literally all raw emotion.
Q: Who would you most likely collaborate with?
Sherri: There are a lot of artists that I’d love to collaborate with starting with any of the dope underground artists in the DC area. When it comes to mainstream artists, some of the main ones I’d love to collaborate with is Kehlani, Jhene Aiko, Megan Thee Stallion, Nicki Minaj, and Beyoncé.
Q: What is one message you would give to your fans?
Sherri: A message I would give to my supporters would simply be a huge thanks for supporting me while I’m a small independent artist and rocking with me on my way to the top. Keep continuing to ride for me and I will ALWAYS ride for you guys, muah.
Q: What would you be doing right now if it wasn’t for your music career?
Sherri: If I am being completely honest, I would not be here if it was not for the music. I became suicidal after the passing of my father in 2012 and being able to write, sing, and record music was the only thing to keep me from feeling like my life was purposeless.
Q: Where have you performed?
Sherri: I have performed at DC Capital Pride, I have performed on the Kennedy Center stage and I have also performed at a host of underground DC clubs including Eden and Cafe Asia.
Q: How would you say social media has impacted your music career?
Sherri: A lot of my true ride-or-die supporters are people I don’t even know in real life who have all come from my social media platforms so it has definitely allowed me to reach my target audience and it is still doing that to this day!
Q: Which famous musicians do you admire?
Sherri: Nicki Minaj of course is literally my A1 day one, I love the fact that she helped to put female artists back on the map. Other than that of course Beyoncé just for being a true performer, seeing her live is like a crazy experience.
Q: What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
Sherri: I’m actually really a good girl and a really sensible person, I don’t get in much trouble.
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Sherri: I know it sounds cliche but the best advice I’ve been given is to never stop. Although things may get hard, keep pushing. That bad state is NOT permanent.
Q: What is next for you?
Sherri: It’s only up from here. I’m already claiming 2021 as my year. I’ve been doing a lot of networking so you guys will be seeing continuous content from me; visuals, more music, of course, some movies, and more!